In this country is some discussion if home schooling should be forbidden. I think that's a good idea - I abhor monocultures and a family that isolates the children is a monoculture. The quality of the schooling might be an uncertainty...
and at that point I realized that I can't think of a point in favour of homeschooling. So who has experience with home schooling and can tell about the pros and cons?
I don't have any direct experience with homeschooling here, but as far as I can see there seem to be a couple of different angles. Numerically I think the preponderance of homeschoolers in the States do it out of either religious conviction or fear of the wider culture and wanting to isolate their children from it.
On the other hand some more liberal-minded people do it because they can do a better job than the school system they happen to be in. We do have a problem with our educational system in that for decades being a great teacher has been like the most difficult job in the world, but being a crappy teacher has been the easiest job in the world. Schools are also burdened with a whole host of unrealistic expectations that are supposed to make up for bad parenting, and at this point in most schools here a kid getting a good education tends to be in spite of rather than because of what happens in schools.
Yes while we often associate home schooling with the religious, there are plenty of other people who find it of interest (especially in areas where religion is dominant in the school system).
And I agree with you that the standardized, sanitized state run model is far from the most effective education that your children could have. With few exceptions, it's the parents who should be raising their children, not the government.
I know this is an old post, but as someone who's been home schooled I'd like to weigh in if I may.
I went through what is commonly referred to as a "Charter" school, it was intended as a hybrid home school environment with weekly classes instead of daily classes. Basically I met with a teacher or classroom once a week got all my assignments and then wen't off to do them. I was mostly self taught as this Hybrid school was deeply religious (with a few exceptions of instructors who valued facts over religion) as a result we had a highly compromised education. They even wen't so far as to bring in "Dr" Walter Brown to speak (writer of the book "In the beginning" a creationists guide to well whatever he's an engineer who can't math and is clearly an idiot, even as a kid I could see problems with his math).
On the one hand this was a huge disservice to the kids, on the other hand I had previously attended "Christian" schools and was used to doing all my own studying to begin with. Frankly I had no interest in school at all, was nothing but a waste of time to me. Had I gone to a public school I likely would have been tested and sent to AP classes, as I was not I was still tested (only 2 reasons you take an IQ test, either they think you're a genius or they think you're mentally disabled, my parents thought I was cognitively impaired), as a result of the testing no Dr would take my parents claim that there was something wrong with me seriously, however I was left in the general school population where I was bullied to the point that eventually my parents were forced to pull me out of school and home school (cause you know sending me to a public school where I might learn stuff was out of the question, I might learn a bad word like fuck oops too late lol).
I could see benefit to a hybrid school like what I went to IF they met standardized academic criteria equal to that of public school peers, but since these places are largely dominated by religion they end up being an easy way to have a publicly funded christian school (which is of course unconstitutional in our country, funny from a group that claims to love the constitution as much as they love the bible lol)
Hope this helps shed some light on the subject from at least one anecdotal experience.
So you were stuck between two bad things: a xtian school or parents who wouldn't believe that you were intelligent. I think it means that you had to do a lot of your education afterwards on your own. Am I right?
You are correct.
I have no first hand experience with home schooling but around here it is said to be for a "special needs" child. The reality of it appears to be to teach said child about god, creation, Jesus and the bible while teaching normal school subjects. It's a way of isolating your child from the "ungodly world" and bringing them up the way the bible says. While a child's special needs went right out the window, you can bet the child is taught that the earth is only 6,000 years old along with other religious nonsense.
This sort of education would appear to have many problems when the child grows up but many would see this as "mom being right" in a distorted and sinful world rather than see that mom was wrong.
I have twelve years of experience with "prison schooling": Catholicism.
Six years of college, most of it in mathematics and physics, and quitting religion for non-theism while earning a four-year degree remedied much of the intellectual damage. Several years as a sex educator belatedly remedied the damage done by Catholicism's sexual bizarreries.
A young (about 20 years) home-schooled woman told me she could not accept that humans "evolved from animals".
I asked her if those animals do to each other what we humans do to other humans.
She did not reply and I did not again meet her.
I've seen the extremes. One family member's two children didn't socialize easily, so she kept them home and schooled them. They're in college now; one tested in early without breaking a sweat. But the boy doesn't relate well to others. Knowledge? Maybe B. Socialization? Lower.
The next case is a group of home schoolers in a well-off area in the mountains east of Albuquerque. Most of the mothers hold graduate degrees, but stay home schooling from one to several kids. They have a neighbor father, noted physicist, who teaches physics. Same for other specialties. Equine studies and competitions are an accepted part of study. I learned about them when one girl easily won our state-wide essay competition. Most of these kids can pick their college.
I know less about a third circumstance. They combined public and home schooling, private bible school, and charter, taxpayer-supported, bible school. The results, as I saw them, were spotty. Socialization was almost totally with co-religionists.
I'm not a home schooling fan. It works best when a family is affluent and well connected.
Back home in rural Colorado a lot of people home school because it's a long, harrowing drive down to where the school bus goes, then an hour or so on the bus over snowy mountain roads to the school. In that kind of home school situation the kids tend to be as isolated as their parents unless extraordinary effort is made. There might be a few dozen or there might be only one or two other kids on the whole mountain. Not every kid's parent/teacher is a Thomas Jefferson and so even best efforts result in a stilted education. Resources abound on the internet, but many places up there have no internet. And if they do, the main content on home schooling is religion based.
Here in Appalachia the preponderance of home schooling is for religious reasons, and it goes both ways. I know people who home school so that they can teach to the Bible, and others who do it because the public schools around here are infused with religion. Among my close friends is a family where the four boys are home schooled. The Dad is an architect and the mom a lawyer -- both hold PhDs. They team-up with other like-minded families, which are rare here, to try to give their kids a higher quality education not overwhelmed by the low quality and overly religious public schools.
My nephew spent 4th grade in the local public school. I had high hopes for it because I want the institution of public schooling to be not only just viable but actually good, with local investment in the social contract. He caught the bus at the driveway and so wasn't one of those precious burdens waiting in a long-line miasma of idling SUVs that plague so many schools. Honestly, I think I'd rather live and breathe next to a dump than next to a school! But the public school was abysmally bad, and his AP teacher advised us to get him out of it. Of 698 students, 4 of them were non-white and I doubt that any of them were non-Christain. In the lobby of the school was a sign in 16" bold font proclaiming, "IN GOD WE TRUST". In almost every classroom was a picture of blue-eyed Jesus, and in the trophy case was a screed about how to pray. And this was the public school! All of that is clearly illegal, but it's what the community and the school board they elect wants.
My nephew now attends a charter school over an hour away by SUV. It's a Gulen school run by sectarian Turks, but at least it is academically excellent while so far seeming less religiously oriented than the public schools. I can see how those who can swing it opt to home school.
Thanks for your answers! I see in all the answers that being a child is still a horrible lottery: if the parents are well socialized and well educated the children might benefit from homeschooling. If the parents are not, the child is on its own and has few or no possibilities to learn from others.